Los Angeles – Home inspector LaRocca deems preparation best defense against earthquake destruction, gives tips on preparing homes, advises for pre-quake inspections.
The recent devastating Haitian earthquakes are a somber reminder that earthquakes happen on a regular basis. Many quakes are not news worthy but they do occur daily in Southern California. According to the California Earthquake Authority informational booklet Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country, “the chance of having one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquakes in California over the next 30 years is 99.7%.”
Nobody knows for sure when the next big quake will hit Southern California and residents want to be prepared when it happens. Preparation is the absolute best defense against a future shaker destroying a home. So how does one prepare?
“The best thing we can do to make sure a home is prepared is to have it inspected by a professional real estate inspector,” advises John LaRocca, president of the Los Angeles based property inspection company LaRocca Inspections. “A property inspector can evaluate a building’s ability to resist damage during a major seismic event.”
LaRocca states that, “the inspection should identify the absence or presence of foundation earthquake bolting, bracing of the floor system, automatic gas shut-off valve and the condition of the water heater bracing.” Further he details that “the inspection will show where the water, electric and gas main services are operated. Then steps should be taken to get fully prepared.”
Here are basic items that residents should have in place:
- Learn how to operate each of the main services and gather any tools needed.
- Secure heavy objects like bookcases so they won’t topple and valuable or breakable items.
- Install latches that keep upper cabinet doors from swinging open.
- Know the safe spots in each room away from glass windows and doors.
- Have exit planned from upper floors in case staircase is blocked, damaged or burning.
- Secure items in the garage that could fall and block or damage the vehicles.
- Create and drill a disaster plan with a designated meeting place outside the residence.
- Create a disaster kit with a fire extinguisher, water, radio and medical supplies.
- Have a packet with cash, valuable documents and emergency phone numbers.
- A water heater tank is a source of 40 plus gallons of clean water so know how to get to it.
www.creia.org – Find a home inspector in your neighborhood
www.laroccainspect.com – Los Angeles based home inspection company
www.earthquakecountry.info/roots – Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country booklets
10623 Sherman Grove Ave.
Sunland, CA 91040